Forecast First Alert: Light snow and dangerous wind chills into the weekend, options for shelter

Forecast First Alert: Snow and dangerous wind chills this weekend

Forecast First Alert: Snow and dangerous wind chills this weekend

Cold, dry air conditions created lighter snowfall than was predicted Friday afternoon and may continue through Saturday but cold is sticking around.

Snowfall is predicted to be long and light in the Twin Cities and the north and west metro through central Minnesota will get one to three inches of snow.

The south and east metro — near Interstate 35 and I-94, respectively — may get another one to two inches could by Saturday morning, with wind chills lowering the temperature to as much as -15° to -25° throughout the day. Residents should expect blowing and drifting snow with winds gusting as much as 35-40 mph.

Most of the Twin Cities area is expected to see two to four inches by the end of the snowfall, with lighter snow in the northwest area and heavier snow to the southeast.

By Sunday, the focus shifts from snow to dangerously cold wind chills. From Sunday morning through Monday, it will feel like -20° to -30° in the Twin Cities, and from -25° to -40° in central, western, and northern Minnesota. At -25°, frostbite is possible in as little as 15 to 20 minutes. At -35° that drops to about 10 minutes. If you are excited about ice finally getting thick on lakes, make sure you are prepared for this brutal cold.

That wind chill is expected to keep the metro near the -30° and -35° Sunday, with even colder air in west and northwestern Minnesota.

Remember to plan ahead and stay tuned to Minnesota’s Weather Authority for updates as this storm develops.

For the most up-to-date weather information, check 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS’ weather page. Click HERE to view the most current radar and click HERE for current temperatures.

RELATED: Forecast First Alert: Heaviest snow of the season so far is moving in, bitter cold follows this weekend

Warming centers across the metro

Salvation Army Service Centers are set to serve as warming centers during the freezing weather this weekend.

The centers, which are offering warm beverages and temporary shelter, will be open on weekdays during normal business hours while temperatures drop and wind chills come into effect.

  • Brooklyn Park Salvation Army, 10011 Noble Parkway, (763) 425-0517
  • Maplewood Salvation Army, 2080 Woodlynn Ave., (651) 779-9177
  • North Minneapolis Salvation Army, 2024 Lyndale Ave. N., (612) 522-4871
  • Northeast Minneapolis Salvation Army, 2727 Central Ave. NE, (612) 789-2858
  • South Minneapolis Salvation Army, 1604 E. Lake St., (612) 721-1513
  • St. Paul Eastside Salvation Army, 1019 Payne Ave., (651) 776-8169
  • St. Paul West 7th Salvation Army, 401 W. 7th St., (651) 224-4316

Additionally, the Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center is adding an extra 40 beds during January and February as a part of an agreement with Hennepin County. For those seeking emergency overnight shelter, contact Adult Shelter Connect at 612-248-2350 for availability.

Elsewhere in Minneapolis, Hope Avenue Twin Cities is open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hope Avenue, which is on 1229 Logan Avenue, offers clothing, meals, showers, haircuts, mats, and access to Alcoholics Anonymous.

For those looking for shelter beds, call 612-204-8200 to be connected with the Hennepin Shelter Hotline.

Hennepin County libraries will also be open as warming centers during their regular hours.

In St. Paul, the Newell Park Building at 900 Fairview Ave North is open to women only. The Phalen Activity Center will be open to men only at 1530 Phalen Drive.

At Central Baptist Church on 420 North Roy Street, families and youth ages 14-24 can find warmth and shelter.

Saving on energy during cold weather

As temperatures fall this weekend and furnaces blast, Xcel Energy is offering tips on keeping your energy bill low. Some advice includes:

  • Lowering your thermostat to between 65 and 70 degrees while you are home, and 58 degrees when away from home. A programmable or smart thermostat can automatically lower the temperature based on daily routines.
  • Opening drapes and blinds to maximize heat from direct sunlight during the day, and then closing them to retain heat when it is dark.
  • Running ceiling fans in a clockwise direction to push warm air down from the ceiling. 
  • Ensuring exterior doors and windows are fully closed and latched shut. Using window sealing kits can be a low-cost way to further prevent heat loss.
  • Keeping interior doors open to help circulate air more freely and maintain consistent heating levels.
  • Changing out dirty furnace filters to promote better airflow and reduce the energy the furnace uses. Replacing the filter once a month during the winter can reduce heating costs by 5 to 15%.  
  • Improving the insulation of walls, crawl spaces, floors and heating ducts, which can save up to 10% on a home’s monthly energy bill.  

Additionally, Xcel is warning people to keep gas meters clear in order to avoid a buildup of pressure in gas lines and a gas leak inside homes. For people running space heaters, Xcel is recommending you monitor the machine as they can cause fires.